Inspired by the response to my article, 2018 Challenges for Women Entrepreneurs and How to Overcome Them, I initiated this series called, How to Grow as an Entrepreneur. I talk to Leading and Inspiring Women all over the world to Raise Awareness among Women and ask them if they are ready to Pass the Baton on to aspiring entrepreneurs!
Lynda Spiegel is an Awesome Mom of two and the Founder of Rising Star Resumes that provides job search strategies, resume, cover letter advice, and LinkedIn profile keyword optimization. She is an author of frequent articles on The Wall Street Journal Experts Blog, LinkedIn Pulse, CornerstoneOnDemand, and Talent Culture Blogs.
She leverages her experience to help professionals in a variety of industries to achieve their career goals. What I love about her is that she is a job search coach who develops an employee value proposition for her clients’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles by discussing the role of storytelling in finding and interviewing for a new job.
She brings the human touch to the entire process. She’s known to be approachable and down to earth, more than trustworthy, and accommodating. Her hobbies include running and baking bread.
Thank you, Lynda, for being a part of this entrepreneur series which is all about raising awareness among Women, enabling them to take the entrepreneur baton into their hands.
- Do you agree the baton needs to be passed on and why?
Yes, of course. But I believe that in the U.S., at least, women have felt empowered for some time now to take on the challenge of entrepreneurship. I see this trend among baby boomer women like myself, but primarily among millennials.
- Can you tell me your transition from a regular HR job to starting Rising Star Resumes? I’m sure you were quite settled with a comfortable well paid job. What helped you the most to kick start the journey?
Frankly, it was getting fired that gave me the kick I needed. Otherwise, I don’t think it would have even occurred to me to start my own business. I always saw myself as an employee, but after losing my job, I realized that I wanted control over my own career. As an entrepreneur, I would have to deal with a drop in income (at first) as well as inconsistent cash flow, but I would never again get fired! I embrace the opportunity to think creatively, determine my own fate, and respond to changes in the business environment.
- What’s your advice to women who are aspiring to start their own business? I know you’ve told some of your candidates that there’s no such thing as a permanent jobs.
Exactly – how can employment be permanent when it is determined by the interests of a company’s shareholders or owners? So my advice is to think strategically – what kind of business can I start that won’t require much investment capital, and that can grow organically.
Here’s an example: I love to entertain friends and family with my cooking, so everyone suggested that I buy a food truck and join the hundreds of entrepreneurs in the food business. But while that would have fueled my passion, the cost of a food truck, licenses, and health and safety requirements in New York City, where I live, would have wiped out my savings. Then, what if the business failed? I’d be penniless.
So I thought about what was important to me: the ability to earn a comfortable living as a solopreneur, the freedom to travel and work from anywhere on the globe that has a strong WiFi signal, and not having to invest my savings in starting-up my business. Since I had been a global human resources executive who understood what employers are looking for, and I’m a pretty good writer, Rising Star Resumes became the fulfillment of all my goals.
- Women’s strengths are so diverse that opportunities are endless. Yet what do you think stops them?
Fear, of course. Women are hardwired, I think, to avoid risk, so we gravitate toward paths of least resistance. But we need to develop confidence in our strengths, and know that when we fail – as we inevitably will at some point – we can simply start over.
- Very true Lynda self-confidence is a key to the door out IMHO. How do you surround yourself with people who will help you succeed?
Walk away – briskly – from people who give you reasons why not, but heed those who will hear you out and provide realistic feedback. Gravitate towards people who are genuinely interested in helping. In my life, there have been many men who have done so, but more women need to mentor each other.
- It isn’t the first time I’m hearing this about women supporting women. Why do you think it’s so uncommon?
Several reasons – for one, men traditionally act as mentors. Also, because opportunities for women have always been more limited, women have felt more competitive with one another. But now that opportunities are more available, there’s no need for even the perception of competition. We women need to nurture each other, for our own sakes, and our daughters and granddaughters.
- How do you maintain your sanity, knowledge and your creativity as you know that it is highly significant to you and your business? Work could get overwhelming sometimes. What’s the magic formula you use?
Meditation. Work comes in waves, so some days, I’m quite at my leisure, and then all of a sudden, I’m overwhelmed with deadlines, client demands, and more and more work. When the stress builds, I turn off my devices, and listen to guided meditation tapes. Or if I’m out and about, I connect to my breath, and slow down my mind. It works like magic.
- Meditation is magic. I agree. Do you take the time away from work to shut your brain off? What do you do? I know you traveled to India recently, what’s your takeaway from this trip as a successful business woman?
Well, meditation is a very inexpensive way to take time away from work. But travel is so extraordinary. I usually bring my laptop on trips so I can work from anywhere, but for my trip to India, I totally disconnected and focused on face-to-face meetings with LinkedIn friends, as well as being truly present to appreciate the incredible diversity of India.
- That sounds awesome. So tell me, which three words describe you the best?
Candid, Caring, Curious
- I would agree whole heartedly. Who are the most influential women in your life and Why?
My aunt, who at 82 still runs her own business and shows no sign of slowing down. I’m also inspired by Golda Meir, who helped create a country for my people after the horrors of the Holocaust.
- Last question here, please name one book/movie or song that changed the way you looked at things in life and your favourite quote.
No one book, but what changed my perspective is the Buddhist philosophy that nothing is permanent and suffering can be avoided by not trying to hold on to things.
My favourite quote is from the Old Testament in the Book of Micah: “Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.”
Thank you, Lynda, for being you and sharing your journey with us all, please continue to empower and inspire Women worldwide.
There’s so much to take away from this interview. Once you believe in yourself and what your putting forward to the world, people will believe in you.
The challenge is to be authentic and engage people with your actions and words. Ambition, adaptability, and resilience are key factors of entrepreneurial success.
Failure is an inevitable journey to success. We must all learn to be confident and realize that failure is just a learning curve.
As an entrepreneur, you must be resilient and courageous